Art, Healing, and De-stressing

Art therapy: Ms. Plude painting and de-stressing in her own way.

Art therapy: Ms. Plude painting and de-stressing in her own way.

Maria Garbin, Staff Writer

     During constantly stressful times, people have been struggling to find a way to stay calm and keep going. Preventing one’s mind from becoming overwhelmed and effectively managing this stress can be hard. An alternative option to be considered for that is art therapy.

     Considering many different techniques to manage stress, one that is often left unnoticed is art therapy, that despite not being something newly discovered, can still be a fun and effective way of managing stress.

     Sarah Kuchta, director at Creative Healing Services, explains that art therapy provides an alternative way to process ideas, thoughts, and feelings subconsciously. She says it connects one to their inner-self and helps them heal from the stress. 

     Kutcha says, “If you experience too much time in your body’s stress response, it can start breaking down your body’s self-care systems, including your immune system, because it can do regular restorative or maintenance processes to take care of itself.”

     “Art therapy is a form of psychotherapy that utilizes the creative process in order to improve well-being,” says Erica Hatrick, art psychotherapist and licensed counselor at Creative Healing Services. Ms. Hatrick further explains that art therapy can facilitate self-awareness, management of symptoms, self-expression, and much more.

      “My understanding is that art therapy came about in the early 1940’s when a woman was using what she coined as ‘art therapy’ while recovering from tuberculosis,” says Mr. Todd Williams, AP psychology teacher. ”Researchers were fascinated and studied it for the next couple decades and in the 1960’s it was truly pioneered on individuals of all ages.”

     Rita Charles, intern at Creative Healing Services, adds: “Through neuroscience studies art has shown to help the brain produce more endorphins which help with stress, happiness, and sense of calm,” moreover explaining that it allows the person to express what they are feeling or thinking in a healthy way. 

     “I found out about art therapy when I was in elementary school due to the fact that one of my mom’s classmates in one of her college classes was working towards that degree,” explains Ms. Emily Plude, painting teacher at Foran. “I have found that coloring or doodling has helped to ‘quiet the noise’ in my mind and help me relax, so that I can then focus on other things”.

     In the current state of the world, it is important to keep in mind that everyone should take some time to rest and restore their energy. So for anyone who finds other types of techniques difficult or ineffective, art therapy could be a creative and useful option to try.